Hello and Welcome!

I am, and always have been, a notoriously bad blogger. But I'm back to give it another try, one more time.

I seem to have rediscovered my "pep" in recent times, and I'm ready to try some new things, and get back into the things that matter to me... at this stage, this chiefly involves getting fit and losing weight (again!)

Monday, May 27, 2013

12WBT: Days 13, 14, 15

And we're over the two week mark, woo hoo! As with most things in life, in some ways it feels like I've been on the plan forever, in other ways it feels like those weeks have gone fast. To be honest, I wish we were 10 weeks down the track and I could just have the results without the hard work... but then the learning and growth (mental growth, not physical growth I hope!) is in the journey, not the destination. Despite having been down this weight loss and fitness road more times than I care to count, I can still feel myself learning and changing as I go along this time. Maybe some things I knew before and had forgotten, maybe some things are new. But it's good to learn and change as time goes by, so that's definitely a plus.

Two big lessons for the time elapsed thus far -

  • You can get by and not need to eat anything that stands still long enough on a reasonably small volume of food. It doesn't kill you. In previous endeavours, I have been lured in by the low-everything high-chemical alternatives to real food, because it meant I could eat a lot of volume. I thought that would make it satisfying... it doesn't. No matter how many kilos of chemical laden excuses for food you shovel down, you are never sated. Eating small portions of real foods that have real fats and real proteins and carbs in them is a much nicer way to live. And the food (usually) tastes a lot better too. I'm by no means perfect in this regard, I haven't managed to kick the diet soft drink habit yet (although it is reduced). I'll work on that in due course.

  • Hunger doesn't kill you. It's just a sensation like any other, and you don't have to give into it. What makes it hard is that you can "cure" it by eating something, unlike other body sensations like muscle pain, which you feel but can't do a whole lot about. But hunger doesn't HAVE to be cured. Sometimes it can be felt, acknowledged and ignored. I'm not talking about starving yourself, but eating to a balanced nutrition plan, albeit quite low calorie. It's doable, even if you do have to flex the willpower muscle on a fairly frequent basis.
Back to the weekly summaries...

Training day 13 - elite squad trampoline session at 7am (7am is rude on a Saturday quite frankly, but I have adapted pretty well over time). Mostly drills and no double backs or rudi's (yay, although I do need to work on both of them). I did some 1 3/4 fronts and had decent power, so hopefully the body is adapting to the food resources it has on hand.

After coaching the little horrors, I made my way to the gym to do the 12WBT super Saturday session. I actually did the week 3 session instead of week 2 - because week 2 was a repeat of week 1 and frankly I hated that session. Week 3 looked better, and on the whole it was, but holy moley it hurt. 1km warm up on the rower, then 5x a circuit of 8 different exercises, 20 reps of each (bench step ups with weights, push ups, walking lunges with overhead weight, bench burpees, bent over barbell pull ups, tricep dips, barbell shoulder presses and dumbbell bicep curls). After 2 rounds I didn't know that I was going to make it, but I sucked it up and got through. The plan called for 50 minutes on that circuit and I did it in about 39, so I think I did OK. The last few reps of the push ups were horrible though, I was shaking and could hardly get myself up. Damn do my shoulders and chest hurt 2 days on too...

Training day 14 - big fat fail. It was foggy as buggery when I got up and I really really didn't want to get out in the cold with my sore aching body. I eventually got myself sorted, got on my bike, rode up the street, got about 4km along and hit some glass, flat tyre. I took this as a sign that I was indeed not supposed to be out there, turned around and walked my flat tyre home!

Training day 15 - Monday pump! I had trouble getting moving out of bed, so I was running a little late, but I only missed about 5 reps at the start of the warm up :) I increased squats weight to 12.5kg and got through without any dramas (other than my damn shoes slipping on the floor), so I think I will increase that again for next session. Chest and shoulders were tough even at existing weights because of the pain inflicted from Saturday's session. Biceps and triceps are on the verge of going up 2.5kg I think.

And now, because it's taken me a day to put this post together with my scattered brain, the first half of Day 16 training, 5km early morning run. I still procrastinated getting started, expecting it to hurt. It did hurt, but it was waaaaay better than last week. My HRM is back in action, so I know the pace too, 30:30 for the 5km. I'd like to get that back to 30:00 and then add some distance, but I'm still happy happy with that time, given I've shaved 1:10 off a 5k in 2 weeks!

Nutrition wise, I'm kicking ass. Eating at my mum's place a couple of times a week is good for the fact that I don't have to cook those meals, but also a pain in the neck for the fact that her meals are a little higher calorie than my ideal, so I have to cut back during the day to fit it in. I'm doing that pretty successfully though, and I have avoided the lure of all the sweet crap she has everywhere in her house, no desserts, no raids on the chocolate bowl on the kitchen table.

I've had some really good meals off the 12WBT recipe planner, and a few "meh" ones. Yesterday's lunch was the worst thus far, quinoa and pumpkin salad. I could eat it, but it tasted pretty average to say the least. I've got one more meal of it, and I think I'm going to suffer and eat it. I'll wilt the baby spinach before I stir it through the quinoa though, and include a lot less lemon juice. That will help, but I can't see myself ever making it again somehow. It was pretty filling though, so I guess that's one upside.

On the whole, I've been sticking to my 1200 calories like glue. I've been 20 or 30 over a couple of days, but also under on other days so my average last week was 1192. It does get easier over time, although it is slightly depressing that there's no room for anything "extra" along the way. It's not forever though, and truth be known I'm far better off staying away from those "extras" until I'm sure I can leave my binge eating ways well behind me. Weigh in tomorrow, fingers crossed!

Friday, May 24, 2013

12WBT: Days 10, 11, 12

Well here we are, closing in on 2 weeks down, and I am still firmly on track... which makes me very happy and very proud of myself.

This week has been a struggle the whole way through. I've been lacking energy for training sessions, feeling hungry and/or focussing on food more than is healthy, and generally just been feeling a bit cantankerous. I am determined to push through it though, because I know it will be worth it. I'm going to try to get some good sleep in over the weekend, find a bit of time to chill, and keep on keeping on. My mind and body will catch up to the new program and accept it for what it is, eventually. I just hope that's sooner rather than later.

Training day 10 - pump in the morning, squat weights went up to 10kg, everything else stayed the same I think? Felt pretty good, I think squats can continue to go up slowly. Trampolining in the evening, just a light session, the gym was full of nutty people and I was beyond exhausted.

Training day 11 - cardio gym session in the morning, and man did that test me out. I'm notoriously crap at running on a treadmill, I find it a whole lot harder than running outside. I'm running about 9.5km/hour ish outside, but I set the treadmill for 18 minutes on 9km at 1% and I was struggling big time. After 2 minutes I was struggling, ridiculous. After that 18 minutes of joy, I did a 10 minute hill HIIT program, which has a total of 4 minutes walking, 2 minutes resting and 4 minutes running (walk to start, then 30 seconds on 15 seconds off at 10km/hour, with the incline rising from 5% gradually to 11%). I felt like I was going to vomit, that was soooooo hard. I stopped 15 seconds short, which is just ridiculous, but I physically could not finish that last interval. Clearly some work to be done here.

Day 11 PM was another tramp session, I was still lacking the power I needed to do anything too advanced, so I did some drills, some double mini and tumbling. A good workout without pushing too far. I'm slightly terrified about elite squad training on Saturday, because the elite coach just doesn't accept "tired" and "hungry" as an excuse for not doing double back somersaults. Help.

Day 12, a blissful day of rest. My body isn't actually very sore, it just feels a bit worn out and lacking energy. Hopefully it will be restored to full vim and vigour for the big Saturday sessions.

Food - rockstar performances. Still saving calories for late in the day, and still struggling to sort out a healthy eating pattern on nights when I'm at the trampoline club and not home until 9:30. And several battles of the hungries have been fought and won. I hope it's not always this much of a struggle. Maybe week 2 is sent to test us, and then things will settle down. I truly truly hope so.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

12WBT: Days 8 & 9

This week is more of a struggle than last week. It's always the way, once the bright new shininess of a new programme wears off, you're left with a feeling of deprivation, hunger and sore muscles. OK, so I haven't quite descended to those levels yet, but I have been battling hunger and a sore body the last couple of days. Fear not campers, for I have not caved!

Day 8 training - early morning pump class to start the week. I increased my weights to 7.5kg for squats, chest and back, and maintained at 5kg for warm-up, triceps, biceps, shoulders and lunges. The chest and lunge tracks were a push, but I got through the rest pretty well. My legs started to seize up later in the day, and were quite sore by the next morning - a combination of pump weights and other sessions no doubt.

Day 9 training - 5km run to start the day. I've sent my HRM in for repairs, so I didn't have a heart rate guide or even a watch to know how fast I was going, which I need to rectify ASAP. I was in struggletown the whole way, my legs felt heavy and I found it hard to get air into my lungs. I'm not sure if I was going too fast for my current stage of fitness, or whether I was just fatigued. I got through it, but it was tough.

Day 9 evening was a step class, and that was tough too. I put another riser under my step for the first time, which probably took more out of me than I realised, but I was sweating buckets and puffing away the whole class.

Nutrition wise, I've been on plan but HUNGRY. Whether I'm head-hungry or physically hungry is an interesting question, and one I'm trying to force myself to think about when I'm feeling like a gobble monster. Probably a combination of the two, because 1200 calories isn't really a lot when you're training a reasonable amount, but I should be able to make it work, it's just going to take some discipline.

In 12WBT world, Wednesday is weigh in day. I was having weird ass dreams all night about standing on the scale and having them show a gain of 5kg or something, but happily I can report a loss of 2.7kg! Doing a happy dance! I've never been one to show big losses, so this is an absolute miracle for me. Admittedly I didn't lose anything for the first weigh in (which is only 2 days in), but 2.7kg over 10 days makes me ridiculously happy. Worth a bit of hunger and soreness? I think perhaps yes!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

12WBT: Days 4 - 7

OK, I am officially giving up on the notion that I'm going to put up a daily post. I don't have the time to fit everything in, and I'd rather spend the time training and making healthy food than writing about why I didn't have time to do that! So the posts might be spasmodic, but they'll be here.

Training days 4 - 7

I did a weights session on Thursday, based on the gym machines program on 12WBT, intermediate level. I did pretty much everything at the top end of the weight recommendation, and wasn't really challenged all that much. I'm not strong enough for the advanced program though, so I'll just try to follow the program and adjust the weights according to my ability as I go along. I also didn't do the "final blast", which called for over bench jumps for a minute or two. I know I should just get over myself, but I feel like a knob doing that kind of stuff in the weights area with all the muscle men staring at you quizzically. I'd rather just use a cardio machine for the last ditch effort. Which in retrospect would have been a better option than just skipping it all together. Idiot. Righto, we live and learn.

Thursday night I went to trampoline training, bounced a little, didn't do a lot. I'm lacking a bit of motivation on that front just now. It'll be back.

Friday - rest day. Tired. Sore. Plus I had plans for the scheduled Sunday rest day, so I just brought it forward. The sleep in was lovely too.

Saturday - it was trampoline competition day and I needed to be at the club at 8:30 to coach little shits (sorry, I mean children, but they really are horrors in that class), then straight to the comp for the next 10 hours or so. I sucked up the early start and was waiting outside the gym for 7am opening. The Super Saturday Session "60 second screamer" intermediate KICKED MY ARSE. Man was that hard. It was a circuit style setup, 60 seconds on each exercise, a mixture of strength and cardio moves. I wish my HRM was working, because it would have been interesting to see what my heart rate was doing, I spent half the session feeling like I was going to spew. It's pretty much the same program for the following Saturday, so it will be interesting to see how I fare next time around.

The trampoline competition itself was exhausting. I was on the go from 11am when I got there until I baled at 7:30pm. I did a few quick routines (2nd place in level 5 synchro, woo), but otherwise it was just running around after junior competitors, coaching, supporting, all the usual guff. I felt like death on legs by the end of that.

Sunday I dragged my sorry butt out of bed early-ish, and rode 15km to the gym, did a step class, then road 15km home. Getting started was a challenge, but once I got moving it was great. My ride confidence is back, I felt pretty strong and reasonably fast, and my legs held up (although a little shakily) through step as well. I was completely shagged when I got home though, spent an hour or so on the couch, which then put me behind schedule for all the crap I needed to do for the day. I'm hoping for some higher energy levels for the week ahead.

Nutrition days 4 - 7

My food has been pretty good, actually continuing a bit under the 1,200 calories which is bizarre. I'm still battling with the "saving snacks for after dinner when I'm a gobble monster" syndrome, and will continue to work on that. But the really great news is that I have not had any blow outs at all, and feel in control for the most part. I did have a brief incident on Sunday while I was cooking up food for the week ahead... I was using peanut butter, which I rarely have in the house, because me, a spoon and a jar of PB get on REAL well together. I started digging in and could feel myself losing control, but in a moment of strength and absolute pride, I managed to stop at a couple of teaspoons, put the jar away and went for a wander outside with a drink to get me away from the kitchen, the temptation and the mania that was about to follow. That was hard, but I'm truly impressed that I managed to stop. Every time I catch myself and correct my behaviour is going to make me stronger. I can't wait for the day when I can sit unaccompanied in a room with a block of chocolate and be trusted not to hoover the whole thing.

Overall sentiments

I'm really pleased with the first week down. It's been a loooooong time since I've stuck to a nutrition and training plan, and I'm proud of my efforts. It hasn't been easy, but it hasn't been as hard as I anticipated either. Having your head in the right space is a beautiful thing. I was checking myself out in the mirror doing pump this morning (as you do), and I can sense some trimming down. It's minor after only one week, but my torso looks less lumpy, my face less puffy, and my collarbones are not so far below the surface. I'm going to focus on these things and feel good about myself, regardless of what the scales say on weigh in day this week. Hopefully the scale will be kind, but I won't be surprised if it's not. At the end of the day, what I weigh doesn't matter a bit. My size and what I'm physically capable of doing is what's important, and I need to stay focused on that.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

12WBT: Day 3

Running two posts together here, but that's life.

Food day 3: 958 calories
OK, I need better organisation next week. With my exercise plans and late arrival home, I need to plan a dinner that's not too big and heavy. I didn't eat dinner before I left work (I had a yoghurt to tide me over), and when I got home at 9:15, I didn't want to eat a big plate of something, so I had a wrap and a bag of steamed veggies. That in itself is OK, but I'm going to set myself up to binge if I don't eat at a more reasonable level I think. Next week I'll try to split my dinner into two halves and eat one before leaving work and one after.

Despite the rainy morning and sore legs, I sucked it up and jumped on my bike to ride the 15km-ish to work. It was cold to start, and the feel of the water flicking off the road onto your butt is truly gross, but once I got moving it was a good ride. I had a shocking ride last week where I nearly fell off about 3 times, and had completely lost my confidence in using the cleat pedals (I'm a novice you see). I was still a bit tentative to start with, but I felt better and more relaxed as I went along.

Naturally enough, I also rode home from work - via the trampoline club for an hour or two for some coaching. I left the club about 8:40, so it was probably the latest I have ever ridden home, but it was fine. Cold and wet, but fine. I was happy to get home though.

Overall, another very strong day on the program for me. I did battle some hunger during the day, and in retrospect I should have had something to eat! I'm also a bit tired and a bit sore, but I'm sure that will ease as my mind and body catch up with the new regime.

12WBT: Day 2

Two days in and I'm already behind on blog posts, that can't be a good sign. The good news is that I am 100% on the plan, I've just had a frantic time at work, and if something has to give for a while, better to make it the blog than the nutrition and training plan!

Day 2 Food - 1,122 calories. I ate my planned boiled egg and piece of toast for breakfast, chicken noodle soup for lunch, and leftover shepherd's pie for dinner. I had a case of the munchies in the afternoon which I managed to get past with drinking some more water, and then made it through the day snack-free. It's a trap I have fallen into in the past, and want to be careful of now - I save calories for night time in case I'm hungry after dinner, but that encourages me to eat late at night which isn't ideal. I had a plain wrap and a glass of milk before bed, which isn't terrible, but I'd be better off with it earlier in the day. Overall the calories were good, and it's only day 2 and a continual learning process (however many times I've travelled this road before).

It was raining and cold when my alarm went off, and I ummed and ahhed about what I was going to do. I was pretty set on going to the gym and using some cardio equipment, but by the time I drove to the gym the rain had abated and I decided to suck it up and go for an outdoor run. I always put off my "first run" after a break, because I know it freaking hurts (maybe I should stop quitting? There's a winning idea...) Well it did hurt, but not as much as I had imagined. I didn't push too hard, but hard enough that my legs and lungs knew they were working. 5km 31:41... a little slow, and I would expect that to pick up fairly quickly. I hope.

In the evening, I hit the gym for my favourite Freestyle step class. I spend the whole time concentrating on what my feet are doing, or supposed to be doing, given I'm not 100% the most coordinated person on the planet. That distracts me from the fact that I'm actually working pretty damn hard, which is awesome.

In summary, a very good, solid day 2 on the program. I feel focussed and not deprived, and like my head is in the right place at last. I like that feeling.

Monday, May 13, 2013

12WBT: Day 1

So, I've joined the 12 week body transformation. Again. I was signed up for round 1 and did virtually nothing with it, so I'm trying again with my head in a better space and less life stuff to get in the way (last round I went on 3 business trips, a holiday to Bali and a girls trip to Victor Harbor within the first 5 weeks... it was somewhat less than ideal).

I haven't blogged in a WHOLE YEAR, mainly because I've been struggling along, and I haven't had a whole lot to say. This plan too may yet fall over, but lets try it out and see what happens.

The 12WBT is obviously a 12 week program, which bases itself on eating 1200 calories a day and doing a crap load of exercise. On the whole, the crap load of exercise I can deal with, as always it's the food side where I tend to fall over. The key to overcoming this, for me, is going to be organisation. Setting up a plan a week in advance, cooking all the food I need for the week (and factoring in the meals I have away from home/work), and sticking to the plan. My plan for week 1 is on my fridge, the idea being that when I go hunting for food off the plan, I'll look at it and feel guilty, and step away from the fridge! If I have to go to the extreme of putting up my very unattractive undies "before" picture on the fridge as well I will... and try very hard to take it down before some poor unsuspecting visitor is subjected to that sight :)

The program started yesterday, and I'm away with a bang. I want to try to keep this blog as a record for myself more than anything, of the progress I'm making as I go along. I've got plans and calorie diaries and the like for recording the food intake, the weight loss, and the broad plan of the exercise, but I don't have anywhere to record the improvements in my fitness, strength etc, and how I'm actually "feeling". So this is it.

Day 1: Strength (well actually it was supposed to be a cardio day, but in typical Me fashion I'm changing that around. I need to suit the gym timetable and my other Life Factors. As long as I get the sessions in somewhere in the week, which day they fall on isn't going to matter). Anyway, I digress.

Day 1: Strength
Pump class

I tried to go low on weights for my first return to any weight training in a few months, because I know the muscles are going to protest, even with a light weight. The squats weight will be able to move up quite quickly once I'm back into the habit of weight training.

Squats: 5kg
Chest: 5kg
Back: 5kg
Triceps: No bar work - dips, 2.5kg extensions, baby tricep pushups
Biceps: 5kg
Lunges: 5kg plates (no bar)
Shoulders: 2 x 2.5kg plates, 5kg bar to finish, knee pushups (36 all up)
Abs: no weight

Everything held up well during the class, squats felt comfortable, lunges were hard! Arms, chest and legs are all sore today, so I think it was a good call to go light for starters.

Day 1 food: Dead on plan, I even skipped a snack because I wasn't ravenous. Calories 1060 for the day, which is a touch low, but will rise when the initial shine of a new program has worn off. I was battling not eating in the late morning and most of the afternoon, but it was boredom not hunger, so I stayed strong (it's a miracle!)

A good start for day 1. Bring on a good day 2!